Students Outdoors Eating Lunch (Selective Focus)Everybody Has a Role in Obesity Prevention

There are many remarkable things happening across the state to be Kentucky Proud of—consistently ranking as one of the most obese states across all ages is not one of them.

One in three children is overweight or obese before entering kindergarten, and unfortunately these children grow up to be obese adults with high rates of lifestyle-related chronic disease. What’s more concerning is that we’re now seeing a pattern of chronic disease in children—meaning they’re going to have a lifelong battle of costly health problems before they are even given a chance for a healthy start. And this burden is felt by all Kentuckians: government resources tighten, health care costs rise, businesses suffer, and individuals feel an endless pressure to make healthier choices.

Too often obesity is portrayed as an issue of personal responsibility. But obesity is everyone’s issue.
When neighborhood stores don’t have a selection of healthy foods, child care centers can’t prepare fresh foods, or worksites only provide junk food at meetings, people can’t feed their families the way they want to. When sidewalks are non-existent, children don’t have safe places to play, or schools don’t support dedicated time to physical activity, it’s impossible to expect people to practice an active lifestyle. So when the opportunities for health are simply not available, our health suffers.

We know that good nutrition and physical activity are powerful. Armed with this knowledge, we all have a responsibility to our community to be intentional about the availability of healthy foods and physical activity so that healthy places are unavoidable for all Kentuckians.

The good news is that we can fix many of the health problems we face and prevent other problems from starting. When we work together—public health departments, cities, schools, businesses, community-based organizations, and parents—we can overcome even the most stubborn problems.

That’s why we’ve created the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky.
We’re a team of leaders, administrators, advocates, health professionals, and community members who care about the health and future of Kentucky’s citizens. We strive for a community with neighborhoods where it’s safe to walk or bike, where fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate food is easily available, where schools and child care settings provide healthy food and drinks and plenty of physical activity, and where worksites support the Total Worker Health® of employees and their families.

All around Kentucky we have passionate partners who are already putting prevention to work. ­­­­From parents to policy makers, everybody has a role. The Partnership serves as an information hub where we can share upcoming trainings, local success stories, new resources, and networking opportunities. Join us to learn how our partners are taking on different roles in obesity prevention.


References

National Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance, Growth Indicators

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Everybody Has a Role to Play in Obesity Prevention